Lahore, Pakistan, October 29, 2014—The
World Bank Group has launched a project to help simplify the administration
of sales tax in Pakistan’s Punjab province, part of a wider effort to
stoke economic growth across the country.
The project will help the Punjab Revenue
Authority (PRA) develop and implement a business-friendly tax system for
services, removing the bottlenecks investors and businesses face when complying
with tax regulations.
''Our partnership with IFC will help
us establish several milestones on the path of good governance in Punjab,''
says Iftikhar Qutab, Chairman of the PRA.
Businesses in Punjab spend an average
of 48 days per year to comply with tax regulations, adding considerably
to compliance costs. The new system will reduce compliance time, encourage
businesses to join the formal sector, and widen the tax base.
“Reforming tax regulations is an important
part of efforts to create a more business-friendly environment,” says
Andrei Mikhnev, IFC’s Practice Manager for Trade and Competitiveness in
the Middle East and North Africa. “Transparent and efficient tax regulations
should boost investor confidence and increase compliance rates.”
The project will also help the PRA develop
the legal and regulatory framework needed to govern the newly simplified
processes. It will also assist the authority in conducting an assessment
of its training needs and capacity building programs.
The project is part of a wider effort
by the World Bank Group to support Pakistan’s economic growth at the federal
and provincial levels by creating a better climate for investments and
private sector growth.
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world's
largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises
five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction
and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA),
which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation
(IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International
Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution
plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living
standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please